FC Cincinnati scored twice in the final 10 minutes, capped by Junior Moreno’s second goal of the night in the 87th minute, to earn a point Saturday night in a 3-3 draw at Soldier Field against Chicago Fire FC.
The Orange and Blue (2-0-2, 8 points) remain one of two Eastern Conference clubs unbeaten through four matchdays. The Fire end the night with two points through three games (0-1-2).
FC Cincinnati have extended the league’s longest active road unbeaten streak to eight games, dating back to the 4-4 draw on July 30, 2022 at Inter Miami CF. The next closest road undefeated run currently is LAFC’s three-game streak, which also dates back to last season. The longest undefeated road streak in MLS history is 12 games (FC Dallas, May 1 - Sept. 25, 2010).
Trailing 3-1 in the 84th minute, Sergio Santos brought the Orange and Blue within one, and Junior Moreno’s second goal of the game in the 87th minute leveled the match. Moreno’s equalizing goal, the 150th MLS goal in club history, proved noteworthy beyond the milestone. His goal marked just the third time in club history FC Cincinnati earned a point when the club was trailing at the 75th minute. His brace was the club’s 11th all-time multi-goal performance.
The coldest MLS game in FC Cincinnati history, which kicked off at 22 degrees Fahrenheit, started strong for the visitors. Moreno struck first for the Orange and Blue in the eighth minute. The buildup began with Marco Angulo in space on the left flank finding Brandon Vazquez streaking in behind the Fire defense and into the box. Vazquez pulled back and found Moreno wide open, who took a touch and fired his shot, aided by a deflection, into the back of the net.
GOAL | Junior Moreno, FC Cincinnati - 8th minute
Moreno’s goal was his fourth career goal in MLS, his third with FC Cincinnati and his first since his two-goal outing on May 28, 2022 at CF Montréal.
The contest’s momentum shifted in the 32nd minute when the Fire equalized on a curling shot from just inside the box from Kacper Przybyłko. The hosts then scored two goals in a matter of two minutes. The first gave the Fire a 2-1 halftime lead, as Rafael Czichos converted a penalty in the 45th minute after Yerson Mosquera fouled Chris Mueller in the box moments prior. Following the halftime break, Mueller scored 16 seconds into the second half of action to make the scoreline 3-1.
In the 50th minute, it appeared Moreno scored again, but after VAR review, it was deemed that Brenner was offside prior to the goal, obstructing goalkeeper Chris Brady’s line of vision.
Two FC Cincinnati substitutes proved vital when Cincinnati would score a second time, as Sergio Santos netted his second goal of the year to get the Orange and Blue back in the game in the 84th minute. Luciano Acosta, coming off the bench, played a stinging diagonal ball in towards Santos from about 40 yards out, placing the pass perfectly into Santos’ path.
GOAL: Sergio Santos, FC Cincinnati - 84th minute
The experienced Brazilian striker positioned himself well with a soft touch and quickly fired past Chris Brady and off the inside of the far post.
Three minutes later, a late corner gave the chance to Moreno as Álvaro Barreal’s cross found its way through the crowd and to the feet of Chicago’s Gastón Giménez. Giménez was forced into a quick clearance that went straight to Moreno who hit it first time, off the post and across the line into the back of the net.
The goal gave Moreno his second-career brace and completed the comeback and earned Cincinnati a hard-fought point on the road to stay unbeaten on the young season.
FC Cincinnati go back on the road next Saturday, March 25 to face Nashville SC. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT from GEODIS Park and can be streamed for free on the Apple TV app and listened to over the radio locally on ESPN 1530.
FC Cincinnati return home April 1 to TQL Stadium to take on Inter Miami CF. Tickets are available now at FCCincinnati.com/Tickets or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK).
FC CINCINNATI GAME REPORT
FC Cincinnati at Chicago Fire FC
Date: March 18, 2023
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: Soldier Field
Kickoff: 8:39 p.m. ET/7:39 p.m. CT
Weather: 22 degrees, snow
SCORING SUMMARY: 1-2-F
CHI – Kacper Przybyłko (Brian Gutiérrez, Gastón Giménez) 32’, Rafael Czichos (PK) 45’, Chris Mueller (Arnaud Souquet, Maren Haile-Selassie) 46’
CIN – Junior Moreno (Brandon Vazquez, Marco Angulo) 8’, Sergio Santos (Luciano Acosta, Brenner) 84’, Junior Moreno 87’
- FC Cincinnati are 3-3-3 in the nine all-time regular season meetings against the Fire … only Atlanta United FC and Columbus Crew (10) have FCC faced more in MLS regular season play.
- FC Cincinnati extended the league’s longest active regular season road unbeaten stretch to eight games … the MLS record is 12 (FC Dallas, 12 games: May 1 - Sept. 25, 2010).
- Junior Moreno turned in the 11th career multi-goal performance for FC Cincinnati, his second brace of his career (5/28/22 at MTL) … four of his five career MLS goals have come in two games.
- Moreno’s second goal of the evening was the 150th goal for FC Cincinnati in MLS play.
- Entering Saturday night, FC Cincinnati were 0-44-3 when trailing at the half and 0-56-2 when trailing at the 75th minute … Saturday marked the first result when trailing at half and at the 75th minute since July 30, 2022 at Inter Miami CF.
- Saturday’s starting temperature of 22°F marked the coldest temperature at kickoff for an MLS match in FC Cincinnati’s history.
- Ray Gaddis surpassed 20,000 career MLS regular season minutes on the evening.
- Marco Angulo made his first career start in place of Luciano Acosta, who made his first substitute appearance for FC Cincinnati in regular season competition since June 24, 2022 vs Orlando City SC.
- Matt Miazga wore the captain’s armband for FC Cincinnati for the second time in his career (Sept. 7, 2022 at NYC).
- Ian Murphy made his first start of the season, in place of Nick Hagglund who served a one-game suspension for his red card last Saturday vs Seattle.
- Santiago Arias replaced Ray Gaddis as a second half substitute, making his first appearance since the season-opener vs Houston Dynamo FC.
- Arquimides Ordoñez made his season debut as a second half substitute.
- Both teams finished with 14 shots … it marked the eighth time in club history that FC Cincinnati and their opponent finished with the same number of shots.
CIN: Roman Celentano, Álvaro Barreal, Ian Murphy (Sergio Santos 61’), Matt Miazga (C), Yerson Mosquera, Ray Gaddis (Santiago Arias 61’), Junior Moreno, Obinna Nwobodo, Marco Angulo (Luciano Acosta 80’), Brenner, Brandon Vazquez (Arquimides Ordoñez 80’)
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Alvas Powell, Joey Akpunonu, Dominique Badji, Malik Pinto
Head Coach: Pat Noonan
CHI: Chris Brady, Arnaud Souquet (Kendall Burks 88’), Carlos Terán, Rafael Czichos (C), Miguel Navarro (Jonathan Dean 69’), Mauricio Pineda, Maren Haile-Selassie (Alex Monis 81’), Chris Mueller, Brian Gutiérrez, Gastón Giménez, Kacper Przybyłko
Substitutes not used: Spencer Richey, Wyatt Omsberg, Missael Rodriguez, Victor Bezerra, Javier Casas
Head Coach: Ezra Hendrickson
STATS SUMMARY: CHI/CIN
Shots: 14 / 14
Shots on Goal: 4 / 9
Saves: 6 / 1
Corner Kicks: 8 / 6
Fouls: 18 / 11
Offside: 1 / 2
Possession: 49.1 / 50.9
CHI – Carlos Terán (Yellow Card) 13’
CHI – Gastón Giménez (Yellow Card) 58’
CIN – Brandon Vazquez (Yellow Card) 58’
CHI – Miguel Navarro (Yellow Card) 66’
CHI – Mauricio Pineda (Yellow Card) 90’
CHI – Kacper Przybyłko (Yellow Card) 90+2’
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Ast. Referees: Chris Wattam, Adam Wienckowski
Fourth Official: Lukasz Szpala
VAR: Younes Marrakchi
Ast. VAR: Tom Supple
FC Cincinnati Head Coach Pat Noonan
On the result
"A pretty erratic performance, I think. When you look at the game as a whole, I thought we had a strong start, you know, with and without the ball, and then had a chance to really get some momentum and go up two, and then we lost some momentum, lost a lot of composure as far as just the decision making and just playing simple. And they started putting us under a lot of pressure. And we didn't do a good job, once we were closer to goal and defending in our defensive third, how we dealt with our ball recoveries and connected passes wasn't strong, some of our clearances were poor.
“But having said all that, I think it was the big moments, before and after half, that put us in a situation where we had to work hard to get a point out of the game, and that was conceding the penalty, and then a turnover that led to their goal right out of the break. Credit to the group for finding a way to get two goals, and really create enough chances where maybe we could've even walk off the field with three points. But I think, based on the way we played that game, a point is probably more than fair."
On earning a point
"That’s been a message early on when, when you're maybe not at your best or you're still trying to get into a consistent rhythm with how you play, you've got to figure out ways to get points and that was the case tonight where [we] started strong and then had a really long stretch at the end of the half and beginning of the second half where we weren't great, but I liked the response and being able to be on the road, down two goals, and get a point. Those things are important, long term. There's a lot of things that we can learn from the game, but I think overall, it's been a theme for our group to find ways when we're not at our best to get results. I was pleased with that."